Friday, November 21, 2008

The Most Important Thing

A Joyous Feast: Part 1

{Matthew 13:45-46; WEB}
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls, who having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”

Apparently it was the teenager’s first day on the job, because when O.D. Cleaver saw the flower arrangement that were delivered to the church building for their celebration in the brand new building he knew something was wrong. The arrangement had a ribbon banner across the front that read, “Rest in Peace.”

So O.D. called the florist to see what happened. The manager of the flower shop quietly listened to O.D.’s problem and then he said, “You think you’ve got problems. Somewhere in this city there is a set of flowers beside a casket with a sign which says, ‘Good Luck in your New Location!’”

When it comes to our eternal destination luck isn’t going to have anything to do with it. It is choice and not chance that determines where we spend eternity. It is our decision to accept or reject Jesus Christ that determines our eternity. So I have this question for you to consider this morning: Have you accepted Jesus’ invitation to follow Him? I am going to preach, but first I am going to pray.

I want you to think about what event is important to you that would not miss for the world. Everything else suddenly become side issues compared to experiencing this event. Perhaps it is the graduation of one of your children or the wedding of a granddaughter or a dream vacation. We all have events and experiences that we wouldn’t let anything get in the way of attending.

One of the experiences that I would drop everything in order to attend is to be able to watch the Iowa Hawkeyes play in a bowl game. If the opportunity came that would allow me to do that I would do whatever it took to make sure that I would be there. I wouldn’t miss that for the world.

As I thought about this I came to realize that one simple thing that I love to experience are family get-togethers. I love sitting around the table listening to the stories of my uncles and cousins. I could sit there all day and not say a word and throughly enjoy myself.

One of the ways we find out what is important to us is by what we will not allow anything else to interfere with. A person who loves football will make sure his Sunday afternoons are free in the fall, and nothing will get in the way of him and his remote. A dedicated golfer will golf in the wind and the rain and the extreme heat. Nothing except a closed golf course will get in his way. For many people family is important and they will drive hours for the chance to be with family. When we allow things to get in the way of certain events and experiences we are sending the message that these events aren’t all that important to us.

The point Jesus makes in the two short parables quoted above is that being part of the Kingdom of Heaven is the most precious thing we can have. If we truly understood it we would gladly sell everything we had in order to be part of what God is doing. I want to leave you with this question: How precious is being part of Heaven to you?

  • Point to Ponder: The most precious thing we can have is to be part of God’s Kingdom.
  • Passage to Remember: Matthew 13:44-46
  • Prayer to Pray: Lord God, Help to understand my true priorities in life and what I might be holding on to that is preventing me from truly following Jesus.

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